Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve certainly heard all about the benefits of kale as a super green. Iron, magnesium, antioxidants, detoxification, anti-inflammatory… the list goes on and on.
Yes, kale is amazing and is ultra nutritious… unless you’re one of those people who goes running to the bathroom after enjoying your kale salad. For all it’s wonderful benefits, there are some folks who experience debilitating pain, diarrhea, gas, and bloating after eating kale and other leafy greens.
Let’s examine a few reasons why kale could cause digestive upset.
You might be a eating too much. Kale is loaded with insoluble fiber. This kind of fiber pulls water into your stool, making it softer so it can be passed easily. Taking this into consideration, if you’re eating kale or greens in too high a volume, then diarrhea could be a result. Tip: Control portions by eating a variety of vegetables, not just greens.
Your digestive system is inflamed or compromised in some way. For example, people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome can experience pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea because their digestive systems can’t handle the fiber in raw vegetables. Tip: Try cooking your kale instead of eating it raw.
Lack of enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Enzymes and bacteria are needed to properly break down raw vegetables in the digestive tract. When foods are not properly broken down and moved out of your system, gas, bloating and digestive upset can occur. Tip: Get more enzymes and beneficial bacteria by eating cultured and fermented foods.
Cutting back on kale? That’s ok because there are plenty of other leafy greens out there to try.
But I thought kale was good for me!